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Grace
September 14th 07, 02:28 AM
Hi,

I'm new here. Our fifteen year old cat---extremely active and
healthy, started to become ill about a month and a half ago. At
first, it was the occasional sneeze---vet put her on amoxi. Then, it
was the occasional cough---more amoxi. Then, weight loss,
listlessness, and wheezy breathing. We took her to another vet, who
did the bartonella test on her. Her titre was a +4, the highest
testable titre. Her lungs are clear and all of her other blood values
came back excellent. She is now on azithromycin and is doing much
better. She did seven days of 35 mgs and is now on a pill every other
day for the next six weeks. She will be retested in six months. My
question is in relation to her lymph glands, specifically the ones
under her neck. Though she is steadily improving, the glands are
still extremely swollen. How long will this remain? Should I be
looking for an additional underlying disease?

Thank you,
Grace

lymebytes
September 26th 07, 12:56 AM
Hi Grace. I am sorry your cat has Bartonella. I am not sure with cats, but in people who have Bartonella swollen glands can be one symptom.

It is now known that Bartonella can be transmitted by ticks. When a person is bitten by an infected tick, it is not unusual for them to have more than one disease. I wonder if your cat should be tested for other tick-borne illnesses such as Lyme disease, both types of Ehrlichiosis (HME & HGE), and Babesiosis.

I know of a vet who is knowledgeable about tick-borne illnesses. If you would like her contact information, you can email me at I hope your cat continues to improve.

Sheelagh >o
September 26th 07, 05:23 PM
On 14 Sep, 02:28, Grace > wrote:
> Hi,
>
> I'm new here. Our fifteen year old cat---extremely active and
> healthy, started to become ill about a month and a half ago. At
> first, it was the occasional sneeze---vet put her on amoxi. Then, it
> was the occasional cough---more amoxi. Then, weight loss,
> listlessness, and wheezy breathing. We took her to another vet, who
> did the bartonella test on her. Her titre was a +4, the highest
> testable titre. Her lungs are clear and all of her other blood values
> came back excellent. She is now on azithromycin and is doing much
> better. She did seven days of 35 mgs and is now on a pill every other
> day for the next six weeks. She will be retested in six months. My
> question is in relation to her lymph glands, specifically the ones
> under her neck. Though she is steadily improving, the glands are
> still extremely swollen. How long will this remain? Should I be
> looking for an additional underlying disease?
>
> Thank you,
> Grace

Hi Grace,
to be honest, I've never heard of this disease before. Would you mind
telling the less knowledgeable here a bit more about this disease
please. The easier it is to understand the more people will remember
this story (like me ;o)
I'm ever so pleased to hear that puss cat is feelling a little better
than before though.....

I was interested to note in the post after yours by lymebites, that it
is related to tick borne diseases? I am taking extra interest in this
post because for the first time this year, when every time I have
taken the cats out to the meadow to exercise them, every single one of
them has come home with ticks attached to them. This is a new thing
here. We have never had them before now!

I can only presume that it must have something to do with the weather
being hotter than normal & wetter too? Is there anything that you can
apply to your cat to stop ticks attaching themselves, or do you just
have to remain vigilant, & remove them as soon as you see them?
TIA,
sheelagh >"o"<

Grace
September 26th 07, 07:30 PM
Hi Sheelagh,

It's a gram negative bacterial infection that is transmitted by
infected fleas and flea *dirt*. It's often referred to as Cat Scratch
Fever. The majority of cats have been exposed to it, and many exhibit
self limiting symptoms, or no symptoms at all. In a young kitten, or
an aged cat, it can be a lot more serious. Our Lyric became very ill,
within a relatively short period of time. The vet misdiagnosed her
the first time out of the gate, saying that it was a sinus infection
and putting her on Amoxi (Despite my asking for a Bartonella titre to
be done.), and so for a period of a month, she continued to get
worse. Lethargy, swollen lymph glands, runny nose and sinus
involvement, and a significant weight loss. Her coat also became
extremely disheveled and dull. Thank God that she suffered no eye
involvement. I was able to take her back to her original vet (Not the
one who misdiagnosed her.) and she ran the test for Bartonella.
Lyric's titre came back a +4 which is the highest possible result.
Right now, she is finishing up a course of azithromycin, and is doing
much better. Appetite is back. She's her lively talkative self
again, and is grooming her coat to perfection. Weight gain is a
little slow, but she is progressing. As soon as we have that weight
back up, we have to take her to have two back molars removed, but the
vet would like to hold off just a bit longer.

I blame myself for her illness, as her Dad (Whom she currently lives
with.) kept telling me that he thought she was ill----yet whenever I
checked her ,she seemed fine. She was eating like a little pig (She's
always been a very big girl.) and aside from the very occasional
sneeze, it seemed as if nothing was amiss. I assumed that he was over
reacting as always. I so wish that she lived here with me and the
dog, but her Dad worships the ground that she walks on, and she has
always preferred him to me, so it really wouldn't be fair to either of
them.

About ticks. I use a veterinary spray on both of my animals for flea
and tick control. It's Frontline and comes in the pump bottle.
Occasionally, I will find a dead one on the dog that has managed to
attach itself before dying, and I just remove it with tweezers. Lyric
is also treated with Frontline, and has neither had a flea, nor a tick
problem since we began using it. That's what really surprised me
whenever she got Bartonella. Of course, they can pick it up from
eating the flesh of an infected animal along with the fleas, and she
is always on mole and mousey alert whenever she is in the backyard.

Grace

lymebytes
September 26th 07, 10:38 PM
Hi Grace,
to be honest, I've never heard of this disease before. Would you mind
telling the less knowledgeable here a bit more about this disease
please. The easier it is to understand the more people will remember
this story (like me ;o)
I'm ever so pleased to hear that puss cat is feelling a little better
than before though.....

I was interested to note in the post after yours by lymebites, that it
is related to tick borne diseases? I am taking extra interest in this
post because for the first time this year, when every time I have
taken the cats out to the meadow to exercise them, every single one of
them has come home with ticks attached to them. This is a new thing
here. We have never had them before now!

I can only presume that it must have something to do with the weather
being hotter than normal & wetter too? Is there anything that you can
apply to your cat to stop ticks attaching themselves, or do you just
have to remain vigilant, & remove them as soon as you see them?
TIA,
sheelagh "o"[/QUOTE]


Hi sheelagh. Definitely talk to your vet about what you can use to protect your cats from ticks. Frontline and Advantage are two possible products. Usually you only need to apply it once a month. Be aware though, they can still have ticks on them and bring them into the house even if you are using the product.

Ticks are just about everywhere. They can transmit a number of diseases such as Lyme disease, Babesiosis (similiar to malaria), two types of Ehrlichisois, Bartonella, and Mycoplasma. Both animals and humans can get these diseases although I am not sure if animals can get Mycoplasma. Lyme disease is the second fastest growing infectious disease after AIDS in the US, yet little is being done to educate the public and medical community.

You need to protect yourself as well as your cats. There are some good repellents available that you can use when outside. I recommend the ones made by Repel. You can get them at Wal-mart in the sporting goods section for about $5.00. There is one for your clothes called Repel Perma One Clothing Gear. You spray your clothes and let them dry for at least two hourse before wearing them. If a tick even walks on them, it will die instantly. One application lasts up to two weeks or through five washings. You could use this on one set of clothes that you wear when going for your walk. This is for your clothes only, you need a separate repellent for your skin. Repel makes one for the skin also.

It is also helpful to wear light colored clothing. Tuck long pants into socks, tuck your shirt into your pants. This prevents ticks from getting onto you. Light colored clothing will help you see any.

Whenever you come inside, check yourself thoroughly. Ticks are tiny, so know you are looking for something very small. They can be as small as this period mark . Check your scalp, behind ears, armpits, belly button, behind knees, top of legs, genital area etc. They often go in hard to see places. Throw your clothing into a hot dryer for 15 minutes. This will kill any ticks.

The only safe way to remove a tick is with tweezers only by grasping its mouthparts as close to the skin as possible and pulling straight back. Do not put any substance on it such as alcohol, Vaseline, or fingernail polish. Do not burn it with a hot match. These methods will irritate the tick, and it will regurgitate into the blood. Do not pull it off with your fingers. Squeezing the body makes it like a syringe with its fluids being squeezed into the bloodstream. Save the tick in a Ziploc bag. It can be tested for disease at IgeneX Lab in Palo Alto, CA.

Grace
September 27th 07, 01:56 AM
Hi Lymebytes,

Could you please send me the contact info for the vet that you
mentioned? I tried to email you but I am not sure that it went
through. Thank you so much for the input!

Grace

Sheelagh >o
September 27th 07, 03:17 PM
On 26 Sep, 22:38, lymebytes > wrote:
> Hi Grace,
> to be honest, I've never heard of this disease before. Would you mind
> telling the less knowledgeable here a bit more about this disease
> please. The easier it is to understand the more people will remember
> this story (like me ;o)
> I'm ever so pleased to hear that puss cat is feelling a little better
> than before though.....
>
> I was interested to note in the post after yours by lymebites, that it
> is related to tick borne diseases? I am taking extra interest in this
> post because for the first time this year, when every time I have
> taken the cats out to the meadow to exercise them, every single one of
> them has come home with ticks attached to them. This is a new thing
> here. We have never had them before now!
>
> I can only presume that it must have something to do with the weather
> being hotter than normal & wetter too? Is there anything that you can
> apply to your cat to stop ticks attaching themselves, or do you just
> have to remain vigilant, & remove them as soon as you see them?
> TIA,
> sheelagh "o"
>
> Hi sheelagh. Definitely talk to your vet about what you can use to
> protect your cats from ticks. Frontline and Advantage are two possible
> products. Usually you only need to apply it once a month. Be aware
> though, they can still have ticks on them and bring them into the house
> even if you are using the product.
>
> Ticks are just about everywhere. They can transmit a number of diseases
> such as Lyme disease, Babesiosis (similiar to malaria), two types of
> Ehrlichisois, Bartonella, and Mycoplasma. Both animals and humans can
> get these diseases although I am not sure if animals can get Mycoplasma.
> Lyme disease is the second fastest growing infectious disease after AIDS
> in the US, yet little is being done to educate the public and medical
> community.
>
> You need to protect yourself as well as your cats. There are some good
> repellents available that you can use when outside. I recommend the ones
> made by Repel. You can get them at Wal-mart in the sporting goods
> section for about $5.00. There is one for your clothes called Repel Perma
> One Clothing Gear. You spray your clothes and let them dry for at least
> two hourse before wearing them. If a tick even walks on them, it will die
> instantly. One application lasts up to two weeks or through five washings.
> You could use this on one set of clothes that you wear when going for your
> walk. This is for your clothes only, you need a separate repellent for
> your skin. Repel makes one for the skin also.
>
> It is also helpful to wear light colored clothing. Tuck long pants into
> socks, tuck your shirt into your pants. This prevents ticks from getting
> onto you. Light colored clothing will help you see any.
>
> Whenever you come inside, check yourself thoroughly. Ticks are tiny, so
> know you are looking for something very small. They can be as small as
> this period mark . Check your scalp, behind ears, armpits, belly button,
> behind knees, top of legs, genital area etc. They often go in hard to see
> places. Throw your clothing into a hot dryer for 15 minutes. This will
> kill any ticks.
>
> The only safe way to remove a tick is with tweezers only by grasping its
> mouthparts as close to the skin as possible and pulling straight back. Do
> not put any substance on it such as alcohol, Vaseline, or fingernail
> polish. Do not burn it with a hot match. These methods will irritate
> the tick, and it will regurgitate into the blood. Do not pull it off
> with your fingers. Squeezing the body makes it like a syringe with its
> fluids being squeezed into the bloodstream. Save the tick in a Ziploc
> bag. It can be tested for disease at IgeneX Lab in Palo Alto, CA.
>
> --
> lymebytes

O_G_M!

I had no idea about any of this, which I find somewhat surprising (in
as far as I should have known). I was aware that mosquitoes can give
you decent dose of malaria, which incidentally makes you feel like you
wish you were never born!! I lived in Africa, so I should have known
better.

I can't believe I had no idea about *any of the illness's caused by
ticks*. I do now, & I guess that is the good point.

OK, we live in UK, which was why I was attributing the ticks down to
climate change. The other point that stood out was how the tick
transmits the fluid back to the bloodstream, thus causing the illness
you describe. All of the cats are frontlined, which was another reason
why I asked if there was an alternative treatment. I thought Frontline
covered ticks & flea's, but I see you mention that they can sometime
attache themselves anyway, so that explains that one. It was the
personal protection that surprised me most!

I have a little story here.
My daughter came to me just over 2 weeks ago & asked me to look @ the
back of her neck. She thought she had a skin tag growing on the back
of her neck behind her long hair, but when I looked, I couldn't
believe my eye's. She had a tick attached there. Not wanting to
frighten her, (she's ever so squeamish), I turned the top light on to
look @ it properly & It had been there a while, because it was HUGE! I
got hold of the front pincers & pulled it out, but in doing so, I held
the ticks head & body to remove it. Effectively, if there was anything
inside that tick, I squirted this right back inside her?!!!

>Mycoplasma.
> Lyme disease

There are only 2 ways that she could have caught this tick. either out
with me walking the cats through the meadow, or from Lucy(fur!), her
personal mistress. ( a sleek black silky velvet cat) Should I be
contacting my Doctor to advise him about this, or should I put this
down to experience &learn from it? Also, what worries me most... Is
there a medication that gets rid of this disease? This is frankly
quite frightening, & I feel even worse, because I feel I should have
known better...

I have taken your advice re: personal care btw, & got some repellent
from our local pharmacy. It is exactly the same brand name but cost me
around 7.It's in an aerosol can & you just spray it on any area that
you want it to protect & it lasts around 12 per application.

I am utterly gobsmacked that there are all of these potential diseases
that we could "Possibly" catch, yet we know absolutely nothing about
it. That's madness. In fact, it wouldn't surprise me if I took Tilly
to the doctor's surgery, & they look @ me blankly if I present this
information to them!

Thank you lymebites, you have given me a lot of information here to
digest, & I am very grateful to you for it. I also invested in a pair
of tweezers too @ the pharmacy so that when it happens again I can
pull the tick out correctly. This was the size of the tick that I
pulled off Tilly's neck: O If not bigger. Another new thing learnt
today....

Sheelagh>"o"<

PS: Has anyone here ever heard of something called a tumbu fly here?
It is a tiny little almost clear nucleus worm that burrows into your
skin, & turns into a maggot shaped worm underneath your flesh. They
have to be dug out, packed with antiseptic & antibiotic creams that
need to be replaced almost every other day. It's a horrible thing that
used to happen to our dog. We really learnt more about it when my
mother found that she had one in the top of her right shoulder.
Normally they would have died with ironing, but she just threw a
blouse on one day, & a few days later realised what had happened.
Amazing what damage a fly/tick/worm/bug can cause us, isn't it?

Sheelagh >o
September 27th 07, 03:37 PM
On 26 Sep, 19:30, Grace > wrote:
> Hi Sheelagh,
>
> It's a gram negative bacterial infection that is transmitted by
> infected fleas and flea *dirt*. It's often referred to as Cat Scratch
> Fever. The majority of cats have been exposed to it, and many exhibit
> self limiting symptoms, or no symptoms at all. In a young kitten, or
> an aged cat, it can be a lot more serious. Our Lyric became very ill,
> within a relatively short period of time. The vet misdiagnosed her
> the first time out of the gate, saying that it was a sinus infection
> and putting her on Amoxi (Despite my asking for a Bartonella titre to
> be done.), and so for a period of a month, she continued to get
> worse. Lethargy, swollen lymph glands, runny nose and sinus
> involvement, and a significant weight loss. Her coat also became
> extremely disheveled and dull. Thank God that she suffered no eye
> involvement. I was able to take her back to her original vet (Not the
> one who misdiagnosed her.) and she ran the test for Bartonella.
> Lyric's titre came back a +4 which is the highest possible result.
> Right now, she is finishing up a course of azithromycin, and is doing
> much better. Appetite is back. She's her lively talkative self
> again, and is grooming her coat to perfection. Weight gain is a
> little slow, but she is progressing. As soon as we have that weight
> back up, we have to take her to have two back molars removed, but the
> vet would like to hold off just a bit longer.
>
> I blame myself for her illness, as her Dad (Whom she currently lives
> with.) kept telling me that he thought she was ill----yet whenever I
> checked her ,she seemed fine. She was eating like a little pig (She's
> always been a very big girl.) and aside from the very occasional
> sneeze, it seemed as if nothing was amiss. I assumed that he was over
> reacting as always. I so wish that she lived here with me and the
> dog, but her Dad worships the ground that she walks on, and she has
> always preferred him to me, so it really wouldn't be fair to either of
> them.
>
> About ticks. I use a veterinary spray on both of my animals for flea
> and tick control. It's Frontline and comes in the pump bottle.
> Occasionally, I will find a dead one on the dog that has managed to
> attach itself before dying, and I just remove it with tweezers. Lyric
> is also treated with Frontline, and has neither had a flea, nor a tick
> problem since we began using it. That's what really surprised me
> whenever she got Bartonella. Of course, they can pick it up from
> eating the flesh of an infected animal along with the fleas, and she
> is always on mole and mousey alert whenever she is in the backyard.
>
> Grace

Grace, don't blame yourself. You had a few other issues @ the same
time to deal with, so noticing a cat feeling unwell is sometimes
dificult to do when your not feeling your best to start with. I'm ever
so sorry to hear that they didn't diagnose the right condition with
Lyric, even though your suggested it might be that. Actually, she is
lucky to have a mummy & daddy who were so knowledgable & knew better.
I would have had no idea & would have ended up @ the surgery every
other day until they did find out what what wrong.

Thank you for the advice regarding ticks too. The more information,
the better. I am still gob smacked that I knew so little about ticks,
despite living in tick & flea paradise in Africa. I have honestly
never found a single tick on any of out cats here since we had the
over 20 years ago- that was why I was so shocked by the information.
Our resident daschund used to get ears full of them, & I was forever
pulling them out of her, along with tumbu flies & flea's too. It's not
like I have never heard of them before, because I have. I just had no
idea that they could cause so much trouble.

To hear that Lyric is doing so much better, is great news. I am
delighted that she is doing so well too. It's such a relief to see
them getting better, when you have a cat that has something wrong with
it, it's really hard to tell what is wrong with them sometimes because
they are so good at hiding pain & internal problems. In the wild, they
can't afford to look ill, otherwise they just become prey . Thank you
for the information that you have provided as well. It has given me a
lot to think about & digest Grace. Ignorance is never bliss.
Sheelagh >"o"<

lymebytes
September 28th 07, 02:31 PM
Hi Grace. How can I send you a private message? Try seinding me one

I did not get your email. My address does not print here when I try to post it.

lymebytes
September 28th 07, 02:52 PM
Hi Sheelagh"o". I am not familiar wit the tumbu fly. It sounds horrifying!

Lyme disease is a multi-system bacterial infection caused from the bite of an infected tick. It can cause many seemingly unrelated symptoms. It is definitely in the UK. If someone is bitten by an infected tick, the sooner they get proper treatment the better. Untreated or under-treated Lyme and tick-borne illnesses can be very serious and debilitating.

Don't feel bad about not knowing about tick-borne illnesses. You know now. I was bitten by a tick several years ago. It was only on me for three hours at most, and it transmitted five diseases. I knew nothing about tick-borne illnesses either. I was extremely ill by the time I was diagnosed. I am still dealing with this. Education and prevention are the best defenses.

I am sorry you found a tick on your daughter. How old is she? Make sure you read the labels on the repellants. Some may not be safe for children.

A bulls-eye rash is a definite sign of Lyme disease, but only about 50% of people who have Lyme ever get a rash. Keep an eye on your daughter for any type of rash or symptoms. Lyme rashes can appear anywhere, not just where the person was bitten. Early symptoms may include flu-like symptoms and fatigue. If you ever find a tick on her again, be sure to save it. It can be tested for disease.

I recommend reading the book "Everything You Need To Know About Lyme Disease (2nd edition)" by Karen Vanderhoof-Forschner. It has a lot of great information.

Grace
September 28th 07, 05:48 PM
Hi Sheelagh and Lymebytes,

Thank you so much for the info and your kind words. You know, Lyric
has been a member of the family for such a long time, that I
absolutely cannot imagine us ever being without her. This Bartonella
thing, scared me to death. She's not only a beloved pet, but almost a
*fixture* of the house. Sitting up on top of the kitchen cabinets
supervising everything that goes on. Waltzing around on top of the
fridge, begging for treats. Pestering her Dad with her incessant
talking. (We call her talking sounds, *Murrtles*,) You know, I wish
they could live forever. One of the saddest things in life, is that
often, we outlive our little furballs. Even today, I can still think
back and picture my beloved childhood pets in my mind. They're
forever loved, and never forgotten. You can bet that from now on, I
am going to be a lot more vigilant regarding Lyric's health. (Gee, and
I thought that I was really a being *watchdog* whenever it came to the
pets health.)

Hugs,
Grace

Grace
September 28th 07, 07:44 PM
Lymebites,

. I keep trying to mail you too, and can't get
through.

Grace